Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century, widely known by the single name Elvis, is often called the "King of Rock and Roll". Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. His twin brother was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when he was 13. There Elvis graduated from high school in 1953. The pop and country music, the gospel music he heard in church, as well as the black R&B he heard on Beale Street as a Memphis teenager had a great influence on his future career.
In 1954 Elvis started working with the legendary Sun Records and its owner Sam Phillips, who intended to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Presley’s music incorporated many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues, and he was one of those who originated rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. Soon his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel" was released in January 1956 and became a number one hit.
By 1956, he had become an international sensation. His versatile voice, his diverse musical influences, animated interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his audacious performance style brought him great acclaim, introducing a new era in American popular music. In 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Even though his work was most commercially successful, he staged few concerts, and devoted much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums. In 1973 Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, viewed by approximately 1.5 billion people. Despite his celebrity status, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army. Prescription drug abuse seriously harmed his health, and on August 16, 1977, he died unexpectedly at the age of 42, at his Memphis home.
Elvis Presley is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and was named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Elvis Presley captivated millions by his talent, charisma, good looks, sensuality, and good humor, as well as the humility and kindness. He is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture.